Sale City has gone back-to-back with an emphatic 14.16 (100) to 5.11 (41) win over Yarram in the 2017 grand final at the weekend.
The Bulldogs went in to the decider hot favourites and were never really threatened during the 59-point victory.
They were ferocious from the first bounce and applied immense tackling pressure, effectively stunting the Yarram run and carry.
Sale City playing coach David Piasente applauded his side’s huge effort, highlighting its intensity around the ball as key in the win.
“We just had our tails up and we were surging forward and kicking goals,” Piasente said.
“Our contested possession was always going to be big today and I feel like we got first use of the footy and got it to the hands of our good players.
“They were getting some good looks inside 50 and our forwards were taking some marks early and finishing off with goals so it was really good.”
Possession was a premium in the opener and Bulldog Matthew Ferguson was the first to draw blood with a mark and goal.
Struggling to move the ball through the middle of the ground, Yarram changed tact and looked towards the wing for space and responded with a goal through Carson Strobel.
The next 12 minutes were all Sale City and a string of three goals to Ben Chivers, Tom Wilson and Piasente led the Bulldogs to a 17-point lead at the first break.
Piasente led by example in the second, bagging consecutive goals to take his tally to three and extend the Bulldogs lead further.
Justin McLay was a rock down back and helped keep Yarram goalless in the second term while Jacob Schuback controlled the Bulldogs midfield and was a source of trouble for Yarram all day.
The Bulldogs’ buffer stood at six goals at the final break and the onslaught continued in the last term.
Frustrations grew for Yarram as Sale City stacked on another five goals to put the result beyond doubt.
Demons coach Chris Pettitt credited the Bulldogs for their impressive performance and said his side just “didn’t bring it” on the day.
“We came up against a side that has won 14 on-the-trot and were tipped by everyone as favourites and they showed why today,” Pettitt said.
Despite the scoreboard blowout, Piasente applauded Yarram.
“We knew Yarram were going to bring it heading in to the game and even though it felt like we were controlling it we knew their momentum was going to come sooner or later and it did there for a patch, but I feel like we held our nerve well,” he said.
Piasente paid tribute to Tom Wilson for his best-on-ground performance and said players across the ground stood-up when it mattered most.
“You’d look at this game and you’d say that a lot of players played well, but standouts for me were Justin McLay down back, Jacob Schuback through the middle, Matt Ferguson up forward… but the list could go on, everyone played their part today.”